We bring you the latest news from the healthcare about the health care in the United Kingdom.

vrijdag 28 september 2018

RCGP: Rise in mental health-related prescriptions likely indicates a growing awareness of mental health, says RCGP Wales

Rise in mental health-related prescriptions likely indicates a growing awareness of mental health, says RCGP Wales

It comes as new data outlines a rising number or prescriptions over recent years, including an increase in prescriptions for the central nervous system.

Dr Peter Saul, RCGP Wales Joint Chair, said: "The overall rise in prescriptions is unsurprising given people are living longer, and more people are living with multiple and complex conditions that may require a variety of medication.

"In terms of mental health-related prescriptions - where there has been the biggest rise in the last 10 years – the increase likely indicates a growing awareness of mental health, with more patients feeling able to disclose problems and seek help.

"Where appropriate, and after consultation with the patient, GPs may seek alternatives to medication. However, these alternatives are sometimes limited because counselling services and community mental health services are under strain.

"It is important to remember that anti-depressants can be an effective treatment for many patients. Addressing the shortage of talking therapies and community-based services would give GPs and patients a wider range of options to ensure long-term wellbeing."

Read more

Patients should disclose all medications and supplements to their GP, says RCGP

"What's important is that the patient's GP is aware of all the different medicines and supplements a patient is taking, so that we can keep an eye on the way they interact with each other. Patients may not think to mention to their GP what herbal medications or dietary supplements they may be taking, but this research is a useful reminder that patients should disclose all of the medication they are using, including any natural or herbal drugs, so that the GP can weigh up all of the benefits and risks and advise of any potential adverse interactions.

"GPs do have concerns about the over-medicalisation of patients and that's why we are working with them to ensure they are only taking the medication they really need and that have evidence of benefit, so that they can live the best possible quality of life and not spend money on supplements that won't help and may in fact cause harm.

"Another way GPs are encouraging patients to be healthy is by recommending activities such as community or volunteer groups, or exercise classes, so that patients are doing their very best to reduce reliance on medication for conditions which are lifestyle-related."

Read more

2.5m patients across England may see their GP surgeries close in the next five years, creating a "catastrophic" impact on patient care, says RCGP

The College says drastic action must be taken to address the workload pressures that are making a career in general practice untenable – and for more initiatives to be implemented to increase retention of the GP workforce.

It is calling for an additional £2.5bn a year for general practice by 2020/21 as part of a 'radical overhaul' of NHS England's GP Forward View, to be funded as part of the forthcoming long-term plan for the NHS, announced by the Prime Minister earlier this year.

Without urgent investment, the RCGP fears that 762 practices across the UK could close over the next five years because they are relying on a workforce where three-quarters of GPs are aged over 55 and therefore approaching retirement age.

Broken down by nation, this affects an estimated 625 practices in England, 71 in Scotland, 37 in Wales and 29 in Northern Ireland.

In England, 2.5 million patients are at risk of seeing their practice close, with the five worst-affected Clinical Commissioning Group areas being Sandwell and West Birmingham (85,105 patients), Medway (52,330), Havering (49,761), Ealing (46,909) and Wigan Borough (43,640).

Chair of the Royal College of GPs, Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, said "These new figures paint an extremely bleak picture of the scale of the GP workforce crisis right across the UK.

"GPs will always work their hardest to try to keep practices open, but the harsh reality is that fantastic, caring GPs are burning out, working in conditions that are unsafe for their own health and that of their patients.

"Workload in general practice is escalating, both in volume and complexity, yet the share of the NHS budget general practice receives is less than it was a decade ago – and our workforce is actually decreasing. As a result, many GPs are bringing forward their retirement plans because the pressures they are working under are untenable.

"It is a massive loss to the profession – and patients - to lose our most experienced doctors prematurely when they have huge amounts of knowledge and skill.

"If these GPs do leave, and these practices do close, it will have a catastrophic impact on our profession and the patient care we are able to provide. We have more GPs in training than ever before, but if we have more GPs leaving than entering the profession, we're fighting a losing battle.

"Decision makers need to think long and hard about how we can retain the GP workforce, and the forthcoming long-term plan for the NHS – funded by the extra £20.5bn a year announced earlier this year – is the ideal opportunity to do so.

"We have seen some positive and innovative schemes, as part of the GP Forward View in England, such as the GP Career Plus scheme, but we need much more of this kind of thing, and on a bigger scale.

"Being a GP can be the best job in the world but only if general practice is properly resourced and provided with the adequate funding and resources to ensure we can deliver the highest quality care to our patients.

"We urgently need to see existing promises of investment for general practice, 5,000 more GPs, and 5,000 more members of the wider practice team delivered in full in England – and for equivalent promises to be made and delivered in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But we also need to see an additional £2.5bn a year for general practice as part of the NHS long-term plan, to ensure that existing GPs and their teams are given the support and resources they need to deliver high-quality patient care both now and in the future."

Read more